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Baird to good in Porsches

by Andrew van Leeuwen

The world’s most successful Porsche GT3 racer – Craig Baird – has taken out the Porsche Carrera Cup round at the 2011 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix.

The Albert Park round was the first for the re-born Carrera Cup, which has been on hiatus in this country since 2009. And Baird did it reasonably easily, winning two of the three races to win the round by a whopping 30 points.

Rocca holds out Harris in a Lexus Celebrity thriller

by Mark Fattore

Saverio Rocca fought a brilliant rearguard action to hold out skateboarding star Corbin Harris in today’s second and final Lexus Celebrity Challenge race at the 2011 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix.

Harris stalked Rocca the whole way, but just couldn’t break down the defences of the former AFL great, who has now taken his prodigious kicking skills all the way to the NFL in America.

And the pace was red-hot too, with Rocca’s elapsed time four seconds faster than his race one effort.

Baird keen to dodge TV ridicule

by Andrew van Leeuwen

Craig Baird has pinned his unstoppable form in today’s second Carrera Cup race on his fellow-ONE HD commentators.

Baird is working with Greg Rust on the host broadcaster’s television coverage of this weekend’s Grand Prix, as well as racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup. And he says that second place in Friday’s race gave his fellow commentators too much ammunition.

“I took that much stick from all the blokes in the commentary box for the last two days, with not qualifying pole and not winning a race,” he said.

Australian Grand Prix Corporation to host the Australian premiere of SENNA

On Wednesday 20 July, 2011 the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, in conjunction with Universal Pictures and Crown Entertainment Complex, will roll out the red carpet in Melbourne for the Australian premiere of SENNA.

The highly anticipated film follows triple Formula 1™ World Champion Ayrton Senna through his F1 career from its start in 1984 to its sudden and tragic end at Imola in 1994.

Barker: Racing Against Heroes 'Surreal'

Ben Barker wants to be a V8 Supercar driver – so the chance to race against some of the heroes of Australian Touring Car racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup at the 2011 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix is one he wants to grab with both hands.

In today’s second Carrera Cup race the 20-year-old Brit did exactly that, passing both Mark Skaife and Steven Richards in genuine, wheel-to-wheel combat.

Making Barker’s feats even more impressive is that this is his first race meeting in an enclosed car, his background being in open-wheeler racing.

How your team fared

Red Bull Racing

Result: Sebastian Vettel 1st, Mark Webber 5th

What happened: Vettel was in a class of his own from Saturday onwards at Albert Park, and was never headed for his first win in Australia – and his fourth win in the last five races dating back to last year.

By contrast, it was a miserable home race for Webber, who couldn’t make a three-stop strategy work and finished fifth. While equalling his best result in Melbourne, the margin to his teammate was alarmingly large.

Maddo outlasts rivals in Red Bull Race Off

Freestyle motocross guru Robbie Maddison has scored a stirring ‘victory’ in the popular Red Bull Race Off at the 2011 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix.

The invitation-only event, which also featured V8 Super driver Rick Kelly, F1 aspirant Daniel Ricciardo and former F1 star David Coulthard in identical Renault Meganes, saw Maddo just manage to hold off his rivals after a frenetic final lap.

Rocca too strong in Lexus Celebrity Challenge

Former AFL player and now NFL punter Saverio Rocca has scored a narrow victory in the opening Lexus Celebrity Challenge race.

Rocca’s strategy was akin to a seasoned professional, working himself into a nice rhythm in the early laps before eventually dislodging polesitter Corbin Harris to hit the front.

From there Rocca showed plenty of defensive flair, eventually recording a 0.2518-second victory over Harris, with a late burst by Luke Ricketson getting him up into third at the end of the five-lapper.

Barbed Response

Narain Karthikeyan may have spent all day Friday standing in a fruitless and frustrating wait for his Formula One racing car to be built, but he retained his dry sense of humour.

As a team of mechanics from his hard-worked Hispania team toiled to build up a machine for him to use, India's first Grand Prix driver turned his mind elsewhere.

"At least we smashed the Aussies," he said, his first words of greeting shortly before second free practice on Friday afternoon. "We didn't give them a chance."

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